I really liked this book, read it in the space 24 hours. Rilke captured my attention right from the start with his dichotomous nature: both moral and immoral. I liked the fact that the mystery of the photos was never really solved, instead, a current crime (white trafficking) was uncovered and a young woman set free from slavery. Having said that, there was one loose end that I felt should have been tied up: throughout the book there are hints of something dark in Rilke’s past, something to do with his family and several characters owe him one, but for what we never find out. I kept asking myself why Rilke cared about the photos, and I’m sure it’s tied up in his past, but by the end of the book I was none the wiser. I feel a little unsatisfied by this. Also, I wasn’t quite sure that the explicit sex scenes were really necessary. I suppose that the author was trying to compare Rilke’s actions and attitude to sex with McKindless’s, but she used a sledgehammer to do it. And McKindless? Kind-less … yep, he was not a kind man!
4/5 – I really liked it.
A thoroughly enjoyable page-turner. Although it was slightly predictable in places, the confidence of the narrative voice completely made up for it. At times it reminded me of Star Wars, at other times, Stardust (by Neil Gaiman) and all the way through I kept thinking ‘This would make a great movie!’ I thought the main characters were interesting, likeable and well-rounded, and some of the writing was inspirational, especially the use of metaphor and simile in the descriptions of places and actions. As a story, it mesmerised me, exploring some big themes (such as love, terrorism/freedom fighting and environmental issues) without bashing me over the head with the author’s opinions. My children are too young for this book at the moment, but I will be keeping it so that I can pass it on to them when they’re ready. Oh … and I’ve ordered the other three books in the series. I know this are classified as YA (and there’s no way I could be described as young anymore), but I’ll never be too old for good writing and storytelling.
5/5 – It was amazing!
A strong collection of heart-touching stories. Each one took me deep into someone else’s life, someone else’s emotions. It’s an uncomfortable read at times, and challenging, but ultimately it evoked in me compassion and empathy, so much so that after each story I had to put the book down and take a break before continuing. With short-story collections each easy to zip through, consuming each tale one after the other as if munching through a bag of pick n mix, but each of these stories deserves to be savoured and pondered.
5/5 – It was amazing!
I remember reading this in my teens because I had a huge crush on Han Solo. Having recently spotted it on a shelf in a second-hand bookshop I decided to buy it and reread it, just to relive those heady teenage days. What a disappointment. I ended up putting it in the recycling after only 150 pages. What the author did to Leia and Han’s characters was unforgivable!
1/5 – I didn’t like it.